The Jacksonville Jaguars had several positional needs earlier this year but linebacker was not among them. They had a couple of studs in Myles Jack and Joe Schobert and added Damien Wilson this offseason. Heading into the season, how good is the Jags’ linebacker corps? If you as Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, it is a middle-of-the-pack unit.
Monson recently ranked every NFL linebacker unit and the Jacksonville showed up at 17. He says that Jack was the best linebacker in the league for the first month of the 2020 season but then slowed down. Monson goes on to say that the UCLA product has been inconsistent throughout his career in spite of his huge physical talent. Regarding Schobert, the analyst says he hasn’t played his best football in Jacksonville yet and wonders what kind of impact the new coaching staff will have on the unit this upcoming season.
Looking at the whole list, it’s fair to say Monson got his rankings right. The Jaguars were one spot behind the Las Vegas Raiders, who have a solid linebacker trio in Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski, and Nicholas Morrow. Maybe Monson placed the Houston Texans a tad high at number eight but Jacksonville’s other AFC South rival, the Indianapolis Colts, popped up at five. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans landed one spot behind the Jags, which seems fair when you take into account how suspect their defense was last season.
Wilson and Leon Jacobs don’t have as much recognition as Jack and Schobert. Nevertheless, the former was part of the Kansas City Chiefs that is coming off his second Super Bowl appearance in as many years while the latter will compete for playing time after missing most of the 2020 season with a knee injury. Moreover, the organization signed Dylan Moses as an undrafted free agent after the conclusion of this year’s selection meeting. The Alabama product has dealt with injuries but could earn a spot on the Jags’ 53-man roster.
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ linebacker unit could be even better in 2021.
The Jaguars gave their coaching staff a makeover this offseason. Besides hiring Urban Meyer as their head coach, they moved on from defensive coordinator Todd Wash and brought in Joe Cullen to take his place. The former Baltimore Ravens defensive line coach will switch between 3-4 and 4-3 looks, so their linebackers’ responsibilities will change depending on the alignment they’re in.
In a recent sitdown with the local media, Schobert says that they have been blitzing a lot in practice. The veteran believes that the new schematics are fun to play for his position, ‘a lot of following the ball, getting to the ball. The 2017 Pro Bowl nod says that it seems like there are fewer responsibilities in certain calls. Moreover, everyone is flying to the ball, making plays all over the field. He thinks all these changes make for a fun environment and added that he can’t wait to get on pads.
Schobert was pretty solid in his first year in Duval, having signed a five-year deal worth $53.75 million last offseason. The 2016 fourth-round pick should be even better in his second season with the team. On the other hand, Jack lost a few pounds after Meyer pointed out he was a bit overweight. Last season, linebacker was a strength for the Jags, and it looks like it will be the case once again in 2021.